Deep Run falls short on penalty kicks
Albemarle pulls out victory to claim Class 5 crown
The Class 5 boys soccer final ending in penalty kicks didn’t seem fair to Deep Run on Saturday. The Wildcats made nearly every play necessary to claim a state championship through more than 100 minutes in the Virginia heat.
Deep Run already had experienced agony turned to jubilation in Friday’s semifinal overtime victory against Mills Godwin, and for moments of the four overtime periods Saturday, it appeared the Wildcats again would end the game with joy.
Instead, it was heartbreak.
After the teams played to a 3-3 tie, Saturday’s game against Albemarle (20-0-1) ended with Deep Run missing all three penalty shots and Albemarle connecting on its three.
“I think we put out literally everything that we had, and that’s just the way soccer goes,” senior co-captain Parker Lawson said. “It’s just so frustrating that penalties is the way that we had to decide. It’s just a terrible way to decide a game.”
A Deep Run error in the fourth minute forecast a
potentially long day for the Wildcats — understandable given their marathon win just 24 hours earlier. Though it was credited to Albemarle’s Daniel Starr, an attempted clear by Deep Run went off defender Alex Saur’s leg and into the back of his own goal.
However, the Wildcats persisted. Juniors Josh Kirkland and Luke Lowry each added a goal in the 25th and 27th minute to take a lead.
With the game tied at 2 in the 53rd minute, Matt Shriner collected a clear from a throw-in into the box and struck the ball into the top right corner of the net from 23 yards out.
However, just 10 minutes later, Albemarle’s Nicholas Matavelli sent a rocket to the upper left corner of the net from 28 yards out to tie it at 3.
Deep Run substitute Luke Lowry had two chances off crosses inside the 6-yard box late in the contest, but placed them just over the net. Coach Frank Ford said he saw fatigue set in on both sides.
“That fatigue factor makes it that much different how you’re putting the foot on the ball,” Ford said.
Lawson and co-captain Ryan Hall both said this team wasn’t as talented as last year’s squad that lost in the regional quarterfinals, but the camaraderie of this year’s team propelled it to the brink of glory.
“Everybody wanted to win this title and everyone was together, even the 28th man,” Hall said.
Deep Run goalkeeper Michael Christensen attempts to block the game-winning shot for Albemarle during penalty kicks after four overtimes.
ALBEMARLE 3, DEEP RUN 3
Class 5 boys soccer final Albemarle won 3-0 in PKs